The Progressive Ruin Questionnaire-Fest 2009, Part Two: The Smell of Fear.

§ January 21st, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on The Progressive Ruin Questionnaire-Fest 2009, Part Two: The Smell of Fear.

More shocking answers to incisive questions. Can your heart handle the results?

  • H asks

    “Can I request a week of photos showing you and co-workers pointing in dramatic fashion, preferably in response to someone having said one of the things not to say to a comic shop employee? If not, how about a photo series of you and your cohorts re-enacting the 7 Deadly Harveys?

    “If not, I’ll settle for the answer to the question of what super team comic book you would create if you had the chance.”

    Would you settle for a fellow who used to be an employee, pointing in a dramatic fashion?

    As for the superteam book I’d create…hmmm. That’s a good question. Naturally it’d have to revolve around Swamp Thing, and maybe featuring some of the folks from this post.

    Or if we have to stick to characters from one company…I don’t know why, but “Swamp Thing and the Outsiders” just popped into my head. “Hold on…Geoforce…I’ll take…this one.”

    Ooh, ooh, I got it…a “League of Extraordinary Gentlechildren.” Sluggo, Lulu, Nancy, Tubby, Charlie Brown, Linus, Richie Rich, Little Lotta, Little Orphan Annie, Herbie…you’d pay to see all those characters in one adventure. Don’t you lie to me!

  • Isaac asks a couple of questions:

    “I’d like to hear your take on some of Rick Veitch’s early, trippy solo work: Abraxas and the Earthman; stuff like that. How does your knowledge of his later Swamp Thing work color your interpretation of those early books?”

    I was a fan of Rick Veitch from the moment I was first exposed to his material in Epic Illustrated. I think it was “Abraxas and the Earthman” that really solidified the fact that I was going to pretty much read anything he was attached to from that point forward. In other words, I already pretty much had a solid opinion of those early works by the time he got around to taking over Swamp Thing. If anything, being a fan of those early works helped me get over the loss of Alan Moore on the title right quick, since I knew if anyone could fill those big bearded shoes, it would be Mr. Veitch.

    “Worst facial hair in comics?”

    Egads. Um…well, let’s say J. Jonah Jameson (as drawn there by Rick Veitch), if only because of the Hitler-stache. Not a look you want if you’re the kind of boss your employees already dislike. (And wouldn’t you know it: a Wikipedia entry on that very type of moustache, which includes Jolly Jonah as a famous fictional wearer of said style of lip fur.)

  • Jacob T. Levy levies

    “What, if any, Swamp Thing stories do you treat as out of continuity, because it’s just easier that way?”

    None, really. I mean, there’s that whole business at the end of the original Swamp Thing run (which runs into his appearances in Challengers of the Unknown) where Swamp Thing is turned human again, which was considered “out of continuity” by DC when they were asked about it in a Swamp Thing lettercol. But even then, as you can read at the end of that second link, I had my own personal workaround to keep it in continuity if were, you know, any big deal.

    By and large I don’t worry a WHOLE lot about continuity. Some consistency is nice, and I realize that sometimes I go on about how this contradicts that on the site, but that’s more out of the fanboyish fun of dissection than any real concern or complaint. (Like, say, all this crazy talk about Lex Luthor’s timeline.) But with multiple creative teams over multiple decades, some inconsistencies are going to worm their way in, and, eh, not a problem. I’ll deal.

  • Max asks

    “Shared Universe Comic Book Continuity: threat or menace?”

    I kinda covered part of that in the last question, where I’m not too overly worried about continuity. I mean, if you worry too much, you start thinking about how the very existence of the Teen Titans fouls up the entire DC timeline (a recurring discussion topic of mine and pal Dorian‘s, which we got into again last weekend for Employee Aaron’s benefit and someday we really just need to sit down and record).

    But half the fun of the superhero books is seeing your favorite heroes team up and/or fight, so I don’t mind the shared universe aspect that much. At least until you have some kind of major crossover event title upon which the rest of your publishing line depends, and delays on the main title ripple across the other books and the poor retailer’s budget goes out the window waiting for the company to get its act together.

    But I, digress.

    I don’t mind the shared-universe thing, by and large, is what I’m trying to say. Sometimes, when I was a kid, I’d be reading, I don’t know, Green Lantern, and some serious crap would be going down, and I’d wonder “man, you’d think Superman would at least check in. ‘Hey, Hal, need help?'” But, you know, Superman would never even call.

    ‘Course, nowadays characters pop up in each other’s books at the drop of a hat, so it’s a bit different. And not quite the novelty it used to be.

  • Just Some Guy wonders

    “Do you have more turn over in TPB’s than monthlies? Are there books that sell very well as trades but do horribly as individual issues; what about vice-versa?”

    We do sell a lot of trades, but the periodicals are still where most of the customers are following their particular serials.

    I can’t think of anything that sells well as trades but not as a periodical. There are plenty of items that sell great as singles but not as collections…Marvel fans, for example, seem to prefer the monthlies. But there are lots of comics that sell well as periodicals and as trades. Fables and Walking Dead are the examples that leap immediately to mind.

  • Googum asks

    “You’ve probably answered this before, but do you have any of the Swamp Thing’s toys and whatnot? Besides the chalk, I mean.”

    Boy, do I ever. The pencil sharpener, inflatable bop bag, and the aforementioned chalk, the board game, the puffy stickers, and all the action figures and portfolios and statues and t-shirts and original soundtrack albums and so on.

    Alas, I still do not have the Swamp Thing slippers, items so awesome that it got none other than legendary Swamp Thing artist Steve Bissette to ponder their true horror for our entertainment, as well as discussing other items that I’d featured on my site.

    “And, is there any comic or related item, that you sell on a regular basis, that is just an embarassment to you? Like, to the point where you really wish you could not carry it anymore, even if it does sell.”

    Not since we stopped selling POGs. If I’m going to hell for anything, it’s that. (I go into further detail somewhere in the middle of this post.) Heck, not even selling Pee Soup embarrasses me. …Much.

  • Skipped Pickle picked

    “1. What did Jennette Kahn ever do for you?

    2. More Funky Flashman please.

    3. WWTTMW? What would ‘T.M. Maple’ write?”

    1. She created Dynamite Magazine, which a young Mikester loved to pieces.


    from Mister Miracle Special #1 (1987) by Mark Evanier, Steve Rude & Mike Royer

    3. What he would always write…a shitload of letters to every comic book in existence. If he were still alive.

  • Alex ticks

    “I either don’t remember or haven’t been a reader long enough, but what was your take on the original Tick series by Ben Edlund? Did it fit in well with the black and white comic boom, or stand out to you at the time? And did you ever think The Tick would’ve made it as far as he did, longetivity-wise?”

    I didn’t start reading The Tick until a few issues in, when a friend of mine kept talking it up to me and I said, “okay, fine, I’ll check it out,” and lo, it was very funny. Those original issues by Edlund remain some of the funniest comics ever published, and it was a shame that the other Tick books, while okay, never really felt quite the same to me as the ones direct from Edlund’s fevered brow.

    I don’t recall now that it stood out any more than the other books, aside from getting a little more positive buzz than most, and, hey, they’re actually going back to press on the earlier issues…when was the last time a small press book had to do that?

    As for its longevity…I hadn’t really thought about it, but yeah, of all the things in comics to catch on with a general audience, it’s this? But it’s funny, and funny in a way that you don’t have to be a member of the comics-converted to enjoy, even as it mocks some of the long-held conventions of the genre.

  • And let’s wrap things up for today with a little Harvey Jerkwater:

    “Have you ever noticed the parallels between Herbie and the Golden Age Hawkman?

    –Both fly and bop people with spheres on sticks.

    –Both are mostly unrecognized as the kings they are.

    –Both are devils with the ladies.

    Is there a connection? Should there be?”

    I’m going to say 1) no, I’ve never noticed, and 2) if there wasn’t a connection before, there is now, at least in my head, as I’m currently picturing a bare-chested Herbie with hawkwings and a mace fighting the Shadow Thief. There’s a commission piece to ask Joe Kubert for.

    “Who never worked on ‘Swamp Thing’ that you would have liked to have seen? A Liefeldian, footless Muck-Encrusted Mockery of a Man? Steve Gerber, using his experience with Marvel’s swamp beast to bring wit and absurdity to Alec Holland’s world? Jack Kirby, just because?”

    I mentioned in my Twitter-thingie a while back that I wanted a Rob Liefeld Swamp Thing drawing, because, c’mon, wouldn’t you want to see it?

    And I’ve often said I wanted to see Jack Kirby’s Man-Thing (hur hur, yes I know), with the big squared-off fingers reaching toward you, because that’d be awesome. But a Kirby Swamp Thing would be cool, too.

    Other creators: I would love to see Ed McGuinness on the character, just to see Swampy reinterpreted in that particular “chunky” style of superhero art. Or how ’bout Art Adams? Or Walt Simonson (who did a ST pin-up once, I think)? Or even Mike Kaluta…I know Kaluta did some covers, but I would have loved to see some interiors by him.

    Ah, hell, let’s completely cross the streams: Mike Ploog Swamp Thing! From Marvel’s swamp monster to DC’s! Maybe he can draw the eventual crossover comic with the two characters that I may have just now promised to give up my firstborn child for in order to have happen. Don’t try to reread that sentence…I think I may have pulled something just writing it.

Okay, that’s enough fun for now. More questions answered next time, faithful Progressivites…same Ruin time, same Ruin channel!

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